MEXICO CITY: Mexican lawmakers blocked divisive electoral reforms proposed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that sparked mass street protests, but advanced less radical changes on Wednesday.
The rejection by the lower house of Congress late on Tuesday was a blow to Lopez Obrador, who needed support from at least two-thirds of lawmakers to change the constitution. Instead he sought to push through watered-down reforms, including a reduction in the budget of the National Electoral Institute (INE), the independent body that organises the country´s elections.
Lopez Obrador´s so-called “Plan B,” which required approval by a simple majority of lawmakers, was passed in the Chamber of Deputies by 261 votes in favor and 216 against. The opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party branded the changes a “betrayal of Mexico.” The proposals must still be approved by the upper house, the Senate, where the ruling party and its allies also have a majority.